Tubby looking forward to Rupp Arena return


Keith Taylor

Tubby Smith watched his tee shot from the No. 11 tee box during a Pro-Am event ahead of the Barbasol Championship two years ago.

By Keith Taylor, Kentucky Today

LEXINGTON (KT) — Tubby Smith is returning to Rupp Arena.

Smith, now in his third season at High Point, will return for the first time since the 2007-08 season when he left to become the coach at Minnesota. Since then, Smith has coached at Memphis and at High Point, his alma mater 

The Wildcats will take on High Point on New Year’s Eve to close out the traditional non-conference portion of the schedule.

“We are very excited for our Panthers to compete against John Calipari and the Wildcats this year,” Smith said. “(I’m) looking forward to returning to Kentucky.”

Calipari said the university is “working on some ways to honor Tubby and his time here and I can’t wait to fill in the Big Blue Nation in the near future.”

Kentucky will play exhibition games against Kentucky Wesleyan (Oct. 29) and Miles College (Nov. 5) before tipping off the season against Duke in the Champions Classic on Nov. 9 at Madison Square Garden.

Kentucky then hosts Robert Morris (Nov. 12), Mount St. Mary’s (Nov. 16) and Ohio (Nov. 19) in the Kentucky Classic to open the home portion of the schedule.

The Wildcats will close out November with home games against Albany (Nov. 22), North Florida (Nov. 26) and Central Michigan on Nov. 29 at Rupp Arena.

In December, Kentucky will host Southern in the Unity Series on Dec. 7, followed by a road game at Notre Dame on Dec. 11 in South Bend. Kentucky will play Ohio State in the CBS Sports Classic at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Dec. 18 and will host rival Louisville on Dec. 22, followed by High Point on Dec. 31. 

Kentucky will take on Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence on Jan. 29 in the Big 12-SEC Challenge.